Laws & Consequences


  The new Safe Driving Program is a mandatory, province-wide program aimed at reducing the number of alcohol-related traffic collisions, injuries and deaths.


Make choices before you lose your license

When anyone says "Donít drink and drive", we may react. Nobody decides to drink and drive, right?

Sometimes people find themselves in social situations where they have a couple of drinks, are stopped for a roadside breathalyser, and before they know it, they lose their licenses. It happens that fast.

Here are some things to think about now: Saskatchewan has new laws governing drinking and driving for experienced drivers.

Make choices before you have to pay the price

There are legal consequences and penalties: fines, vehicle impoundment or jail terms.

Losing your driverís license also creates difficulties, especially if youíre used to driving whenever you want. If you want to drive anywhere ó to pick up the kids or attend a meeting ó you canít. It is a very simple but costly consequence.

If you . . .

Then you will . . .

have a BAC (blood alcohol content) of .04 for the 1st time

immediately lose your licence for 24 hours

have a BAC of .04 for the 2nd time in 5

immediately lose your licence for 24 hours and must complete the Driving Without Impairment Course within 90 days

refuse to take a breathalyser test, or are convicted of having a BAC of .08 or of being impaired

lose your license for one to five years and attend addictions screening*

 

drive while under an administrative suspension

have your vehicle impounded

drive while legally disqualified

lose your license for one to five years, attend addictions screening* and have your vehicle impounded

have a BAC of .04 while driving with a provisional (temporary) license

lose your license for 30 days, plus have a balance of suspension reinstated and attend addictions screening*



*Once screening is completed, you will be directed to either a DWI course or an alcohol/drug recovery program. You must successfully complete your course or program before SGI will reinstate your license.

Make choices before you have to give up your time

Screening

If you are required to attend an addictions screening at alcohol and drug services, it will cost you four or more hours of your time.

If you choose not to attend the screening, your license will be suspended indefinitely - until you meet all the requirements. You cannot just wait until suspension term is over to get your license back.

The screening procedure is conducted by qualified alcohol and drug services counsellors. If you live in a small town, you may have to travel to the nearest town that has an alcohol and drug services office ó this trip could be difficult without a driverís license.

DWI Course

If screening indicates that you are NOT alcohol/drug dependent, you must attend a DWI course. If you are required to attend the course, it will cost you $150 and 16 hours of your time.

Recovery Program

If screening indicates that you ARE alcohol/drug dependent, you must participate in a recovery program recommended by your counsellor. If you do not participate, you will not be eligible for license reinstatement.

Your recovery program could include weekly counselling sessions, assignment to a treatment centre, participation in community self-help groups, or counselling from other agencies.

While in your recovery program. You must stop using alcohol or other drugs for your recovery to be successful.

Your recovery program is complete when your risk of repeating alcohol/drug-related problems is low. This process could take several months, or longer.

This program is mandatory - after screening, you must complete either the DWI course or the recovery program to be eligible for license reinstatement.

Make better choices before drinking

Youíve probably heard people say, "I didnít have that much to drink . . . I wasnít drunk!"

You may not know how impaired you are. Even small amounts of alcohol can affect your judgement and cause you to drive less carefully. Many factors influence how quickly your body metabolizes, or sucks up, alcohol. This absorption rate will influence your level of impairment.

  • having food in your stomach may slow down the absorption of alcohol, but it will not prevent impairment
  • drinking coffee, having a cold shower, getting exercise or fresh air may make you feel more alert, but none of these things will decrease the amount of alcohol you have in your system.
The only way to get alcohol out of your system is to wait until your liver eliminates it. This is a slow process. Everyoneís liver works at different rates, but it would normally eliminate alcohol at a rate of _ ounce of pure alcohol per hour. So the average person will take two hours to eliminate one drink.

The safest bet is never to drink before driving.

Make better choices about the future

If you have concerns about your drinking or drug use, talk to a professional alcohol and drug services counsellor.

If you have to drive, your best choice is not to drink. Hereís what you can do if you are in a social situation involving alcohol:

  • You can insist on your right not to drink - ask for juice or water.
  • Set a limit to how many drinks you will have and stick to it.
  • Drink slowly - thereís no need to guzzle.
  • Eat before and while you drink - but remember, food only slows down alcohol absorption.
  • Stop drinking hours before driving.
  • Know what youíre drinking; some mixed drinks contain more than one ounce of alcohol.
  • Be honest with yourself - really honest - about your judgement of your driving ability.
  • Choose a driver who agrees not to drink, and doesnít.
  • If you are hosting a party, insist that guests leave their keys at the door, and stay overnight or take a cab home if theyíve been drinking. The courts are starting to recognize that people hosting parties with alcohol are responsible for their guestís safety when they leave.

More Information

For more information about the Safe Driving Program, call 1-800-667-9868.

Source

Saskatchewan Health (www.health.gov.sk.ca)